Some LAUSD schools offer new innovative curricula on first day of school

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The Los Angeles Unified School District opens seven new schools today. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reports that some offer traditional curricula in new buildings, while others are trying unconventional approaches to learning.

Adolfo Guzman-LOpez: L.A. Unified’s opening a new arts high school in downtown L.A. and a new middle school that will separate students by gender in their core classes.

UCLA’s the main partner running one of two other new schools at the former Ambassador Hotel site in Koreatown. It’s the university’s first public school venture. Aimee Dorre, dean of UCLA’s education school, says it’s a natural fit because university researchers know a lot about what works in teaching and will apply it at the new elementary school.

Aimee Dorre: It will have a dual language immersion program, Spanish-English or Korean-English. Another part is that we will have multi-age groupings so it’ll be K-1 together, 2-3 together, and 4-5 together. And students will stay with same teacher for two years and the same group for two years.

Guzman-Lopez: The school enrolls about 350 students now, with plans to accommodate about 800. It’ll maintain charter school-like autonomy under L.A. Unified governance. The district’s teachers union will represent the school’s instructors.